What is Christian Healing?

Tara Barnett

Christian healing is a type of healing that works through faith in a Christian God rather than through any specific medical intervention. This type of healing can be problematic because while practitioners believe that God can heal through prayer and sometimes that certain individuals have the ability to enact healing on others, this process is not considered medically valid from an external perspective. In fact, there are sometimes laws preventing parents from using Christian healing as a primary medical strategy for children. For individuals, Christian healing can be successful in some cases, depending on the disorder that must be resolved.

Those who practice Christian healing believe God can heal through prayer.
Those who practice Christian healing believe God can heal through prayer.

The mechanism by which Christian healing works is typically assumed to be divine. While people involved in Christian healing may touch or manipulate the body of a sick person, any changes to a person's health are assumed to derive from a spiritual source. Sometimes, no biological processes are identified at all. Healing is claimed to have happened in terms of results and a change in state from sick to well.

Christian healing might help people dealing with a life threatening illness.
Christian healing might help people dealing with a life threatening illness.

Among methods of healing, this type of healing is often viewed with extreme suspicion by people outside the religious faith. While other methods of healing might work using naturopathic medicines or treatments deemed outside the norm, this type of healing works entirely through a being that not everyone believes in. It also assumes a specific relationship with that divine being, in which God could conceivably be called down for specific tasks. As such, even many Christians look upon extreme types of Christian healing with suspicion.

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There are also, however, more reputable forms of healing related to Christianity that do not claim to cure cancer or other physical diseases. This type of healing can be very effective when a person requires strength, mental clarity, or peace in other ways. It can also be very effective at changing a person's outlook on a physical disease, and praying to God for the strength to accept one's disease and fight it with the mind is a common strategy. The primary difference between this type of healing and the kind that claims to work on the body is that thought processes can actually be reordered by focus, prayer, and faith.

It is important to note that in areas where aggressive faith healing is not seen as medically responsible, there are often rules about who can and cannot submit to faith healing as a primary form of care. Children with terminal diseases, for example, are often required to submit to treatments approved by Western medicine. For people who have a strong feeling that Christian healing would improve a child's chances of survival, combining Christian healing techniques with a full medical treatment program can be a good solution.

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